Yes, we do non-fiction!

It’s been a while coming, but I’m excited to announce that AuthorsAloud now offers readings from non-fiction works. To accommodate the new form, we have changed the “Fiction” section of the site to “Prose,” which will accommodate both kinds of narrative. Poetry remains, as ever, “Poetry.” As it should.

I resisted bringing non-fiction to AuthorsAloud for a long time, despite numerous requests, for a couple of reasons. First, when I started the site it seemed to me that non-fiction was getting all the headlines, and that it was fiction and poetry that deserved special love and attention. Second, I felt that fiction and poetry gave themselves more readily to the aural form than did non-fiction.

But much has changed in the world of books since AuthorsAloud began in 2006. These days, I rather feel we’re all in this together, those of us in the world of books, and that a site like this should throw its arms around the shoulders of anyone producing memorable work, no matter what the form. In that spirit, it makes sense to open the door to non-fiction. But we do with fiction, we will still favor the most literary forms for inclusion here — not to be snooty, but simply because they lend themselves best to the listening experience.

And I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have kick open the non-fiction door to this site than James FitzGerald. James is a veteran journalist who has done terrific work for years, including Old Boys, his book on the students and legacy of Upper Canada College. He was also of immeasurable help to me more than a decade ago when Toronto Life magazine assigned me to write a profile of billionaire David Thomson. The reclusive heir to the Thomson fortune refused to sit for an interview, but years before James had managed to get him to open up for his Old Boys book. Most of that interview was never published, and James granted permission for me to incorporate significant parts of it into my story. I’m forever indebted for that rare bit of journalistic generosity.

reads from his newest book, his Writer’s Trust Award-winning memoir What Disturbs Our Blood. And as an added bonus, he’s provided a marvelous Insight recording, answering a question put to him by Julie Wilson (aka @bookmadam).


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